Community Use of Schools
District School Boards across the province have implemented many practices to ensure the effectiveness of the Community Use of Schools program at the local level. Some or all of the following effective practices may be in place in your community:
- Strive to make access free-of-charge for not-for-profit groups
- Not-for-profit groups benefit from reduced rates to use school facilities after-hours while commercial organizations pay the full rate.
- Some boards are now making access completely free-of-charge to not-for-profit groups.
- Help users with insurance requirements.
- It can be difficult for small community groups to obtain insurance.
- Some boards have assisted by helping community groups access third-party insurance.
- Some boards even pay the small extra fee for the groups.
- Use specialized software to manage the Community Use of Schools program
- School boards can use specialized software to book facilities, track usage and produce reports.
- Make fee payment as easy as possible for users
- Consider how to make it easier for local users to pay fees.
- Allow users to pay by credit card over the phone.
- Add the full list of available facilities to the board's website
- Post the availability of facilities on the board's website to help users plan their activities
- Boards should already be posting information about their policies and fees
- Consult with other boards to benefit from their experience
- Learn from other school boards about making after-hours use of schools as easy and affordable as possible for community groups.
- Work with other local school boards to standardize program policies and fees
- It is easier for users when neighbouring school boards from all publicly-funded education systems work together to adopt similar policies, procedures and cost structures.
- Develop reciprocal agreements with municipalities
- Some boards have agreements with municipalities where the municipalities assume the day-to-day operation of the program, including the allocation of facilities.
- Agreements between school boards and municipalities make it possible to provide a seamless offering of facilities across all boards to area residents.
- Provides one-stop shopping for both municipal and school board facilities.
For more information about Community Use of Schools, please contact your local Ministry of Education Regional Office.